Rowdy Tellez is rebounding from a rough April with the bat with 14 of his 22 runs batted in coming in May.
2014 Vancouver Canadians teammates Rowdy Tellez and Roemon Fields enjoyed a huge Memorial Day weekend with the Buffalo Bisons. They each contributed fireworks of their own with a four-hit game Saturday to lead the Herd to a road victory in Charlotte.
Tellez is showing signs of emerging from his April funk. He made an immediate impression with the Herd by homering in his first at-bat as part of a two home run effort on Opening Day but he fell on hard times for the rest of April by hitting just .194. However, he’s been much better in April, raising his batting average around 40 points so far in the month of May.
Bisons manager Bobby Meacham spoke with Baseball Central’s Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker on Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590 in Toronto about the state of affairs in Buffalo and had this to say about Tellez.
“Rowdy’s gone through some struggles as far as adjusting to the pitching here. A little bit different type pitchers, little bit more finesse guys that use both sides of the plate a little bit more on him, challenging him inside with the fastball which he isn’t using to seeing because he’s such a big guy…He’s been able to struggle through some things and I think he’s about to turn the corner here swinging the bat. He’s been a pretty patient hitter at the plate but also needs to jump in with some aggressiveness when (pitchers) lay it in there.”
Tellez showed off his aggressiveness in Charlotte Saturday by jumping on a 3-0 pitch from Chris Volstad to single home a run as part of his first four-hit game in Triple-A that included this RBI double, a two-run single and a stolen base in the Herd’s 12-7 victory. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound first baseman rounded out his 4-for-5 game by making a diving catch into the Charlotte dugout as part of the Herd’s 12-7 victory. Heading into Monday’s action, the left-handed hitting Tellez has a five-game hitting streak in which he has gone 9-for-21. With a career low BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of .269, some positive regression may be in store for Tellez later this year as conventional wisdom suggests league average BABIPs are around .300. He continues to show a good eye at the plate with a walk rate of over 11 percent and while keeping his strikeout rate manageable at just less than 18 percent.
Earlier this month, Tellez belted a memorable extra-innings home run to walk off the Pawtucket Red Sox during ‘Blue Jays Weekend’ at Coca-Cola Field.
Roemon Fields is making solid contact with the Buffalo Bisons in 2017 with a line drive rate nearing 30 percent.
Tellez wasn’t the only member of the 2014 Vancouver Canadians to have a four-hit performance for the Bisons Saturday. Roemon Fields was a home run shy of the cycle in a 4-for-6 night that included an RBI triple.
The Seattle native has a six-game hitting streak entering the week in which he has 13 hits in 29 at-bats. He has reached base in 21 of 23 games since joining Buffalo on April 29. He has stolen nine bases in 12 attempts and has a batting average and on-base plus slugging percentage approaching .400 and 1.000 respectively.
Fields has been working closely with Bisons hitting coach Devon White according to this story from John Lott in The Athletic.
“White gets in (Fields’) ear when he tries to pull a pitch on the outer half of the plate. Or when he takes off, with a modest lead, and gets thrown out trying to steal third base with two outs, as he did in a game last week.
‘He’s still raw,’ White said. “He’s green. He’s still learning the game. He soaks it up, but there’s so much to take in.’ “
It looks like White’s lessons are getting through to Fields. He has increased his walk rate by nearly four percent from his April stint in Double-A to just over 8.5 percent, which is close to his career norm. The left-handed hitting outfielder is also stinging the ball with a line drive rate approaching 30 percent. Not known as a power-hitter after a career slugging mark around .330 in over 1,400 pro at-bats, this new-found power is not likely sustainable as Triple-A pitchers are sure to adjust. However, if Fields can maintain some of this hitting spike, he could be heading for the majors in September, if not sooner.